Florence is one of the most popular destinations for tourists, who come from the most distant parts of the planet to visit the most beautiful and prestigious artworks, churches, sculptures and monuments in the world.
Some tourist destinations in Florence’s historic centre are well known and sought after, but there are many other hidden and less crowded corners which deserve a visit just as much.
One of the most curious and interesting parts of Florence, is in fact Oltrarno, which extends along the evocative course of the Arno River.
So, I would like to give you five good reasons to visit Oltrarno:
Visit the coolest neighbourhood in the world.
The first reason to visit is Borgo San Frediano, which Lonely Planet called the coolest neighbourhood in the world.
Maybe you’d also be interested in reading ” Borgo San Frediano, the coolest neigbourhood in the world, says lonely planet.
In the article you will find the reasons why Borgo San Frediano has managed to win this important label, competing with international cities such as New York and Lisbon. Its dark streets, filled with old craft shops, the almost family climate that one breathes in the piazzas, distinguish it from the classic tourist spots in the centre of Florence.
A historic visit to Palazzo Pitti.
Although this is a more familiar location, it certainly must not be missed during a visitor’s trip to the banks of the Arno. This huge palace is one of the greatest examples of architecture in Florence. The palace was originally built by the Pitti family in 1457, based on Filippo Brunelleschi’s design.
Today Palazzo Pitti hosts some of the most important museums in Florence: on the first floor is the Galleria Palatina which has a large collection of paintings, and the Royal Apartments with period furnishings dating back to the nineteenth century. On the ground floor and mezzanine is the Argenti Museum, which brings together the Medici’s huge collection of precious objects. The Gallery of Modern Art is on the top floor. In the Palazzina del Cavaliere, detached from the palace and immersed in the Giardino di Boboli, is the Porcellane Museum, while the Palazzina della Meridiana houses the Museum of Fashion and Costume (known as the Costume Gallery), which includes fashion clothes and artifacts, tracing the history of the last 300 years.
The most beautiful gardens in Florence.
Around the banks of the Arno in Florence, one can find the most beautiful gardens in the city, and you will really be spoiled for choice.
Starting from Giardino di Boboli, the most famous park behind Palazzo Pitti, which has always been the lordly Florentine park, with its avenues that were the Medicean model for gardens throughout Europe. Impressive, romantic, classic. Boboli is the Garden of Excellence.
The Giardino delle Rose is a pleasure for the eyes and for all the senses, if you can go during the flowering of the infinite varieties of roses that it hosts. It’s absolutely the best place to meditate on the beauty of spring and feel languid and romantic, surrounded by Folon’s artworks.
Finally, the Giardino Torrigiani, where a booking is required, but it’s definitely worth it.
In the centre of the park stands an evocative neo-Gothic tower, at the top of which there is a small observatory from which it is possible to admire and study the constellations.
The nightlife that brings Oltrarno to life.
La Movida, which can be found in the part of Florence on the banks of the Arno, is definitely a good place to visit. There are so many bars and restaurants to be found in the Oltrarno area.
Here “What to see in Borgo San Frediano” we have compiled a list of restaurants, pubs and wine bars to try in Borgo San Frediano.
Here you will not just find famous starred restaurants, but you will be able to enjoy true traditional Florentine food at some inns, or eat special foods in newly-opened restaurants. Without a doubt, you will be able to live an authentic experience.
Stay at La Fonderia B&B, Florence.
The last reason to come to visit the Oltrano area of Florence is to stay at La Fonderia Bed and Breakfast. Here you will find welcoming rooms, furnished to the smallest details in a 1950s style, taken from markets and antique shops.
You can spend an afternoon in the Bed and Breakfast’s private garden, enclosed within its walls and carefully maintained. The property also has a covered garage for bicycles and a small mechanics shop for any possible needs.
If you decide to stay at the La Fonderia B&B, you will have decided to have a unique experience, to experience a new lifestyle and to enjoy a curious and unconventional Florence.